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Ombudsman: Russia to open military camp for youth in occupied Crimea

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 4, 2023 8:12 PM 2 min read
Photos from a military camp in occupied Crimea posted on Russian media. (Dmytro Lubinets/Telegram)
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Russia will open a new military-oriented camp for youth in Yevpatoria in occupied Crimea, where young people will be indoctrinated with Russian military ideology, Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said on Telegram on Oct. 4.

The camp, which will host 100 youth from grades 9-11, involves lessons on the basics of military service, among other "re-education" programs that Lubinets characterized as propaganda aimed at the erasure of Ukrainian identity among youth in Russian-occupied territories.

The process of the "militarization of consciousness" of youth in occupied Crimea began after the illegal annexation in 2014, but has intensified after the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

The glorification of the Russian military has been a crucial part of Russia's propaganda against its own citizens and toward those living under occupation.

In an interview with the Kyiv Independent in January 2023, Canadian historian Dr. Ian Garner spoke about how Russian authorities have tried to create a new generation of young Russians who only know the language of "war and sacrifice and death."

Lubinets wrote, "Russia's militarization of education and instilling its ideology in children in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine is a war crime, according to international humanitarian law!"

In addition to the plight of young people already in occupied Crimea before the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russia has also illegally deported almost 20,000 Ukrainian children to Russia or occupied territories of Ukraine.

According to Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova, who has been charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for her role in the deportations, the figure could be as high as 700,000.

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